Do Ouija Boards Really Work? Spoiler Alert: They Don’t.

Relatively Interesting April 17, 2011 278
Do Ouija Boards Really Work? Spoiler Alert: They Don’t.

ouija boardAs children, we’ve probably all tried a Ouija board at one time or another. Remember how it went? Two or more players would gather around the board, and each would place two fingers on the planchette (the pointer). Each person would then ask the board a question one at a time, and, if there was a connection to the spirit world, the planchette would begin to move across the board, spelling out the answer. Sometimes, the board will answer with a simple “yes” or “no”, sometimes it will spell it out.

Generally, using a Ouija board is harmless. However, there are times when the connection to the spirit world can go very wrong. Sometimes, the connection will be to an evil spirit, a demon, or devil. In order to avoid such an evil link, one must follow the five rules of the Ouija board…

Ouija Board Rule #1
Never play with the Ouija board alone. This is for your safety both physically and mentally. Ouija board experiences are occasionally extreme and should this occur you will need someone with which to support you, both during and after the occurrence.

Ouija Board Rule #2
Do not allow the planchette to count down through the numbers or backwards through the alphabet. Doing could result in the spirit escaping from the board, allowing it to terrorize you and the other players indefinitely.

Ouija Board Rule #3
Always place a silver object upon the Ouija board before playing. Silver is known (ahem) for its power to repel evil energies.

Ouija Board Rule #4
Never, ever mention ‘God’, as it is believed that entities contacted through the Ouija board are generally ‘evil’ in nature. Some may appear “good” at first, but it is likely a demon who is playing tricks.

Ouija Board Rule #5
When you are done playing, say ‘goodbye’. Failure to close the Ouija board session by saying ‘goodbye’ may result in the contacted entity remaining present long after you have finished playing.

Pretty scary stuff. So what’s really going on?

The movement of the pointer on the Ouija board can be attributed to something called the ideomotor effect. Humans might not be aware of it, but suggestions can be made to the mind by others, by observations, or by other mediums – and these suggestions can influence the mind and affect motor behavior.

According to The Skeptic Dictionary, tests devised by American psychologist William James, French chemist Michel Chevreul, English scientist Michael Faraday, and American psychologist Ray Hyman have demonstrated that many phenomena attributed to spiritual or paranormal forces, or to mysterious “energies,” are actually due to ideomotor action. Furthermore, these tests demonstrate that “honest, intelligent people can unconsciously engage in muscular activity that is consistent with their expectations” (Hyman 1999). They also show that suggestions that can guide behavior can be given by subtle clues (Hyman 1977).

So, when people go to play the Ouija board, they know in advance of what it’s supposed to do, they (often) expect it to give some sort of results, and unconsciously, they guide the pointer so that it gives “answers”. There are no demons or undead. There are no spirits. It’s just a piece of plastic/cardboard. Nothing more.

After all “If there really is an afterlife, I’ll bet the best way to contact it is through a plastic, mass-produced board game from Milton Bradley! –Mad Magazine

References:
http://skepdic.com/facilcom.html
http://www.skepdic.com/ouija.html
http://hubpages.com/hub/How-to-Ouija-Learn-How-to-Play-the-Ouija-Board-with-this-Ouija-Board-How-To-Guide
http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa090699.htm
http://www.skepdic.com/ideomotor.html


278 Comments »

  1. Anonimus March 10, 2014 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    I did this last night with my frend. Today he died in the car crash bcause he didnt say gdbye. dont play. its devil.

    • michael June 9, 2014 at 9:24 am - Reply

      there fake no connections to it Jesus made that way wackos

  2. HellzBellz March 30, 2014 at 4:39 pm - Reply

    It works I know from experience playing in my early twenties with my cousin we would stay up from 8 pm to 4am falling asleep on the board with only one finger each on it our heads down n half asleep n it would not stop talking to us…spelling out things and telling us our future by asking it questions that no one should know..being young n dumb we asked it who’s dad would die first and it had said Tracy dad will pass firts and he did my father is still alive and in good health..then it had told me my bf was cheating on me i had no idea i was young and dumb i asked it who the girl was and it told me the girls name, it was Debbie which was correct I even got her phone number from the board and called it and it worked it had also told me when he was with her and even told me he got her pregnant this info was not told to me all at once it took several weeks to get this information from the spirts..and I swear on my life and on my eyes that this all true i do not lie and hate liars i have dated many of them. Before all the serious questions I would ask it dumb questions like how many people called my answering machine that night…it said 5, I said who and it named all 5. I immediately called it n all 5 people it said had truly done so. We got so hooked on this cardboard board you can buy in a toy store from toys r us that we were playing it 4 nights a week till the wee hours of the next morning but it was worth it in out eyes we were definetly hooked..Speaking to evil and good spirits didn’t matter as long as we could talk to the dead we didn’t care. Ive been told you are suppose to say good bye to the evil ones because you dont want negative energy in your home. They would spell out to us and call us cunts over n over…fu…die…I’m gonna kill u..and we would joke with them saying no your not relax stop being mean and tell us how you died. The min we would ask the evils spirts to talk about themselves and stopasking dumb questions about ourselves…the spirit would turn nice n say it was sorry and stop calling us bad words. Althought it did tell us it had murdered people when he was alive its still crazy to believe a story like this but I’m not a liar. It actually had spelled out nice ass a few times and we were like who Helen or Tracy has a nice ass and it said Tracy I’m sitting right behind her in the chair..mind you we were on the floor playing it in her living room bent over on our knees…Her little sister was 10 yrs old at the time and jumped in the chair it claimed it was in and it then begain to spell out…ouch get off of me…get off. So then we put it to the test n said if your really here make the phone ring..phone rang once…we said do it again..and it did..we told it to do it for a third time n picked it up no body was there it just went dead we did this over and over like 20 times and it would ring and hang up as soon as we answered it..Maybe it was because she lived by a grave yard maybe because her house was over 100 yrs old who knows but we did speak to a woman named Emily a lot…turns out she lived there in that house and got sick and died there she was not evil and very nice to talk to…when you ask it selfish questions about yourself only and want to hear your future you will get the answers you are looking for but it will not be very friendly to you. If you talk to it like a person n get to know the spirit first u will get better response about the questions you ask it better information if you take the time to know the spirit first they will come back to you and tell you more questions you have and want to know. We had also asked it what age we would be married it had told me n mycousin the correct ages 24 and 28 her first…it was dead on n also said we would both have a second marraige as well …that came true for her but not for me it even told her what age she would be married again late 30s didnt pay much attention to that but i did come true …as for myself it just keept giving me different numbers first it said 39 …I did meet a man n feel deeply in love for the first time in my life i was truly happy and he would tell people I was his wife and wanted to marry me but after the hunymoon stage was over all the mental abuse stared and him cheating and throwing me down concrete stairs and him getting arrested and restraing orders set in place…I had to say goodbye… it had also went to 43 44 like it wasn’t sure and I didn’t pay attention after playing for 6 hrs I was tired. It did tell me i would have twins but i am 42 now n not looking for another relationship any time soon..funny thing is my first cousin is pregnant with twin due any day now she is 42 as well and her father passed away so my father is the closets thing she has left to her father so maybe it got confused it really never gave me a definet age that day but I did have two abortions in my 20s (which i regret now) maybe those are the kids it was speaking of it said two children i would have..who really knows at this point but i can tell you this playing that bored has made me physic in some weird Fd up ways..i had spoke to a physic 10 yrs ago n she told me i was very intuitive n i know things but dont believe it to be true…she told me i would be told things about people coming to me in dreams …my uncle had passed that she knew about told her to tell me this and he would send me signs through dreams or othe ways… i didnt belive this untill i had a dream about an old friend n it came true..not gonna go into details about her but i also see the number 13 on the clock to tip me off when something bad is coming my way…for instance i wake up n look at the clock in the middle of the night n its 313 then ill get up for work do my routine and its 913 ill go to work (i work in sales) ring a transaction and look at the sales receipt an the time of the transaction will say its 213 the number will just keep coming ever time i pick up my phone n hear a text or an email i look n it always ends in 13 the time…it happend for two days straight n i got a dwi that night. another time it happened for a week and my great uncle passed away..tons of other occurences n something bad always comes out of it… it even showed up alot at the end of my realasonship with the man that called me his wife to let me know he was up to no good when i didnt see him on certain nights ..sure enuff i would find evidence of another woman being at his house…hair on the foor…earing backs..i dont wear earings soo..i think it kind of ruined us me knowing all this crazy stuff because I would look for things because of seeing that damn number and sure enuff you will find shit ever single time you look for it…i would ask him about it n he would call me crazy n deny deny deny typical guy and then get mad at me for acusing him abuse me and throw me out of our home when he was doing me dirty all along… when we did finally end it he told me…you have no idea what I did behind your back so i sent him pictures I took of lipstick on his shirt…dryed up semen on his couch n another girls hair on the floor n I told him I have always been one step ahead and knew all along you just didn’t know it. I told him about my weird gift n he didnt belive it in the beginning I bet he changed his mind.
    Who knows i didnt ask for this and i dont want it..but i will not go away so im stuck. Maybe i opened the door by messing with the ouiji board maybe it is some kind blessing in a weird sense and i just dont know it yet who knows..maybe i should embrace it n not think of it as a curse but i feel guys i meet out (i find the real winners) the number 13 shows up and i immediatly dismiss the realasonship before anything gets started… its telling me to cut this person off they are no good and i find out its correct very strange. All i know is once you talk all spirits and bring that into your life and into your home they don’t want to leave you alone its like they enjoy changing a persons life and having a conversations with the living. Maybe because i stopped playing it they got mad and messed with my future i have always been unlucky in love after messing with that board and feel like i am doomed to be alone the rest of my life. I am a very attractive female that looks like im 28 by my coworkers n friends…i joke around n say i sold my soul maybe i did in some way but i will never know for sure that will be the first question i ask if i get to those golden gates…i do know this when we stopped playing its not because we wanted to but because we had to because of my cousins house being invaded by spirits and her mother was starting to become afraid to be home by herself hearing doors open and close and hearing people walking around upstairs when no one was home ..this experience did changed my life like I said don’t know for good or for bad yet……sorry for the bad grammar typed all this on my cell wasn’t easy but felt compelled to tell my personal experience with the ouigi board..i say stay away no good can come from this for anyone…eventually we stopped and turned 21 n started to hit the bar scene instead lol

    • Bob September 15, 2014 at 2:28 pm - Reply

      Only person I ever met that could actually work the Board is my Mother. Many times her co-workers would return from lunch and say “you’ll never guess what I had for lunch”. My Mom would pull out the Board and accurately tell them – she never missed. As kids we would try and disprove her ability by placing her in a completely dark room, blindfolded, and we placed a large piece of cardboard (much larger than the Board) over her hands and the Board. She was able to answer questions with 40 or more character answers (we would use a flashlight to look under the cardboard to write down the letters without telling her what they were). If she had the Board memorized she was very, very good because she never misspelled words in long sentences. She always operated the Board by herself – and it always worked. As an engineer, I have always wondered how my Mother was able to do this.

  3. HellzBellz March 30, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    I was also wondering about the number 13 if anyone else has heard of this happening to them and tipping them off that something bad is coming to you I would like to know there are others that experience what I have and what they think it is all about and if there is a way to make it stop.

  4. Anonymous coward April 14, 2014 at 9:14 am - Reply

    Ridiculous! In my early teens, I DID the dumbest thing: I made my own Ouija board on card stock weight paper! I used a small Dixie cup cut in half as a planchette. Then I started playing it ALONE. After several horrible things spelled out about someone dying in a car wreck, I took my finger off the planchette, BUT IT KEPT MOVING ON ITS OWN! It was my LAST time messing with that stuff! Then strange things started happening around my parents house. I had to bring in a Minister to do a spiritual cleansing. There is still a spirit of chaos and confusion that tries to re-enter from time to time if I don’t toss it out! I have learned that they can only occupy a space if you ALLOW them entry. That damn board was the invitation, my naive ways the catalyst.

  5. AJ April 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm - Reply

    Here’s the thing. When the Ouija Board starts spelling things out on its own WHEN NOBODY IS TOUCHING IT… shooting across the board very precisely, spelling the same thing three times in a row, and spinning in a little circle around and around when it doesn’t want to answer questions… that’s the sort of thing that says, “Hi. Freaky evil spiritual force here.” It’s not our expectations-based muscular movement when it moves by itself.

  6. anonymos April 28, 2014 at 1:42 pm - Reply

    okay..
    this is completely crazy.
    i mean its a board game for crying outloud.
    we should focuse on whats happening in life and leave those be that are in the afterlife.

  7. phil May 20, 2014 at 10:35 am - Reply

    Hey,

    When i was young i used to see witches and sometimes at night when i was 17 a kid would visit me , a boy, he never spoke, but it scared me shitless so i blocked those things from my mind. It works, Also i saw a very old man with a long beard sitting in bushes doing meditating in the middle of night. About those boards, i never used that but one time i wanted to get in touch with my dead grandmother. Me, my brother and a friend sat in a circle with the alphabet put on the table and we holding hands. First 2 times i asked, ghost, are you there???? Nothing…. But my brother and friend were laughing all the time, Then i said to them ,now serieus people, concentrate. ANd then i askes grandmother, are you here??? The second i asked that, one of the 2 candles flames went a meter up and the other stayed down. I fucking shitted in my pence and yelled ,STOP STOP STop , i broke the circle by yelling , stop holding hands, and the flame went down. We all three ranned downstairs scared as hell. This was 20 years ago and i never tried it again. True believer!!!

  8. Anthony May 30, 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    So today at school we were watching videos on Ouija boards, and we decided to try it on our own. I am in the ninth grade, and there were probably 10 of us that went to a small dark room and somebody had a light from their phone to light up the board that we had printed off the Internet. We used one of my friends silver rings as the planchette and three of us volunteered to try out this new Ouija board. None of us had ever done it before, and we didn’t really think it was going to work. Keep in mind, this was all at school but we had a study hall. We moved the ring around many times and then kept it in one place. We then asked if there was a spirit with us. No answer. We tried moving it around some more and then asked again. The ring moved a little bit and then stopped. We were all freaked out and kept on asking each other who had moved the ring, but none of us had and we all swore on eachother’s lives. Now before this whole thing, we had all been skeptical that Ouija boards did not work. I thought they were just a hoax and that people did and moved them to trick their friends. Then the ring moved to yes. We were all stunned. We then asked it what it’s name was. It then proceeded to move to the M, then E, then the L and repeated itself three times. We said, “is your name Mel?” and it moved to the yes. My heart was racing, knowing that Ouija boards and communicating with spirits worked. My finger felt heavy though it was barely touching the ring at all. Both of my friends were barely holding the ring by their fingernail. We then asked what year it had died, and replied with 12 as in 2012. We also asked if it was a friendly entity and it said yes. It seemed to have left when it stopped responding to our questions so we said goodbye, but two minutes later a new group of 3 got together and asked again for the spirits name. And you can guess what it came up with, it said Mel. It said it’s last name started with a D also. It was time to leave, so we left and said goodbye. We were all in amazement that this had worked and almost didn’t believe it, but it really had happened. I can tell you firsthand. It you move the ring over the paperboard by hand it makes a scratchings sound, obviously. But when the spirit moved it, there was no noise at all and almost seem to hover just barely. And another point, if someone were to move it to trick the others you would be able to tell they were moving it easily. I also tried pulling gently in the opposite direction it was moving, but it seemed to resist and kept moving forward. Don’t listen to this article at all, Ouiji boards work. Later that day I researched Mel D 2012 death and an article about a girl named Mel Dyson that died in 2012 came up and she lived near where we were. Ouiji boards work.

  9. anonymous May 30, 2014 at 7:17 pm - Reply

    my sister and I played one for a joke once or twice, never asked it anything serious.. one time we tried it and the plastic triangle piece actually stuck to the board as though someone was holding it down, it was very interesting when my sister held on to the plastic piece and lifted the board off the table. hummmm! we had that happen a couple of times. my neice was able to retrieve my fathers name from the board, a name would never guess in a million years! My brother in-law had a vision of an old neighbor when we asked him to show himself, i have never even seen this guy so when we investigated who he was, it was an exact discription. (short, bald, wore glass’s and walked with a cane)
    another point, if you don’t believe in the afterlife then your mind is obviously closed to the spiritual world, if you believe in a spriritual life then that door is already cracked open!

  10. Big Dick June 7, 2014 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    Dumbest shit I’ve ever read.

    • Anonymous June 12, 2014 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      You win

  11. david June 27, 2014 at 12:21 am - Reply

    The human mind subtly influences what is spelled out. Then when evaluating it you body views the rare and random coincidences as greatly more common and important than they are. Its a well known effect. You give 10 people a generic description of an average life and most will say it exactly/nearly exactly matches their life. The human brain focuses on connections because it helped our ancestors survive. And honestly its a plastic board. Why doesn’t my computer keyboard connect me to the “spirits”. its got letters, numbers, and you could use enter as yes and backspace as no. But it doesn’t. Why, because Ouija boards work under the placebo effect. You believe, then you receive.

  12. Aaron July 8, 2014 at 11:02 pm - Reply

    The ouija worked for me and my friends. The only three of us who had our fingers on the planchette were blindfolded, and asked questions while my sister wrote down the letters spelled out. We kept getting clear and swift answers to our questions, so I KNOW that the power of the ouija and spirit connection IS EXISTANT.

  13. Theresa July 13, 2014 at 12:47 pm - Reply

    ive had good and bad spiritual encounters. I enjoy it yet I fear it. my grandfather passed of esophogeal stomach cancer when I was 3, I used to help my grandmother take care of him and would think I was making him better. I was veryyy close to him though I don’t remember him:( it hurts that I don’t remember him but I reminense on photos, videos, voice tapes that he would leave for me and stories always told and cherished with the family.
    …many storiestold but ill share one- when he passed I always talked to the moon and my family thought that was my way of coping with it. so im in the backseat with my parents in the front and I’m talking away to the moon…. mom: “Theresa who u talking to? ” “poppy!” (her dad) mom: “what’s he saying? ” “he said it’s gonna snow!!!!!” dad: (elbows mom with a joking manner) “really?? .. ask him when!” “HE SAID RIGHT NOW!!!!!” it started snowing instantly. That was a blizzard in 96.
    … but as I got older they got darker. in the moment id b scared and when they were gone id look for them. weirdddd things go on occassionally but I know their evil. ive never touched a ouiji board as tempting as it is and I don’t intend to. But although it’s practically impossible to get in touch with ur loved ones, I must still ask if it can b at all possible. Im scared to let more spirits in my life though bc my dad (grown man) was held down by a black shadow that wouldn’t let him scream. I see black shadows, figures, occasionally faces, voices rarely but I did see a black mass at the end of my parents bed when I had awaken from a nap and I jus looked away to turn on the light after a min. ive been to confession as i m a practicing catholic and even prayed with my aunt whos a nun. idk just looking for answers like y he left

  14. Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 2:58 pm - Reply

    Think about it like this , wether it is a laptop or computer with a Mouse and you asking questions through google or any other search engine and moving your pointer around the screen. Is that not a modern day version of the same thing?

  15. Anonymous August 8, 2014 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    And yes the real things DO WORK. Leave them well alone and never ever use one. You have been warned.

  16. Leonids11 Balodis August 23, 2014 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    After reading BRUNELDA NATO comment on laurenconrad. com about Metodo helping her cast a spell to fix her relationship, i was hmm.. will say considering doing the same thing cos my life was a total mess. On one hand my girlfriend now soon to be fiancé parent did not want me to be their son-in-law cos i did not belong to the upper class community and on the other hand, i moved from Latvia where my life and job was to be with my soon to be fiancé in Azerbaijan. I had no home there but just the apartment we both bought together. If am not mistaking her father is a famous lawyer to almost every rich person in Azerbaijan. She was going to help me get a job in her father law firm before she broke up with me because she was going to marry one of her father client. All this was before i contacted Metodo to see what he could for me. As i said her father was against our relationship and she was going to marry a 53 years old man for his money. She has always loved materials things but i never thought she would pick money over me. We were still see each other not as lover but secret lovers. I loved her too much to be sharing with a disgusting old man because he was rich. I don’t mean to disrespect any elderly person i just don’t like it when rich old or young persons try to take or take someone you hold dearly to your heart cos they have the money to do so. In my own case it happened that it was an old rich man wanting to take the woman i loved and still loved with all my heart and strength. She didn’t want to marry me but she wanted to be my lover in secret. I knew she loved me dearly but she was also in love with all the money and assets the man had. she knew i was content with what i had and what she had but she wanted to be so rich like adding riches ti what she already had. The date of the wedding was already set when i realized that if i don’t do something to stop the wedding i would lost her forever. It happened that i came across BRUNELDA NATO comment on laurenconrad. com as i search the INTERNET on how to make a woman realize living without you will be a great mistake where she wrote how metodo the spell caster helped her fix her marriage and how she came face to face in contact with Metodo and also how real and awesome he is. I just felt compelled to also contact him for help maybe i was not thinking clearly or i felt it was my only chance to make sure she soon to be fiancé doesn’t marry anyone else but me or maybe i felt both ways. I know something was clear to me that whatever action i took was my last chance to win her back. There and then i contacted Metodo cos i had no money to travel all the way to Chad. I just trusted BRUNELDA NATO testimony that he really exist and can help me solve my problem. It turned out that BRUNELDA NATO was right. Now i can also truthfully tell you that Metodo is really something out of ordinary he is the greatest spell caster you can ever meet. He sent me some items that he told me to use to pray with within the 7 days he was casting the spell i asked him to help me cast with the materials he told me to provide to for the spell casting. Within those seven days of incantation pray my soon to be fiancé developed something i don’t know what to call in her head that made the love she had for me resurface i say resurface love because she became that girl i fell in love with back in Latvia she told me she was going to call of the wedding but was scared what would happen to her father relationship with the man. But all those worried faded when Metodo sent the spell that looked like a powdery substances with instruction on how to make it effective. She called off the wedding and nothing happened it was like no one cared anymore not the man or her parent almost like it idea was yipped of their head. Whether anyone believe me or not it does really matter the only thing i care to say here is that Metodo is the ultimate spell caster anyone can ever ask for help. Am going to leave his mail in case Metodoacamufortress @ yahoo. com

  17. Me August 30, 2014 at 5:36 pm - Reply

    I played it for the first time last night and became intrigued by and and a bit obsessed… I have been searching for hours trying to find an explanation. When we first began to play the game I, believed it had something to do with your mind. maybe somewhere your brain forced your hands to answer with an answer you come up with in your imagination and your hands moved it without relizing it. My theory tho, no longer maked sense when we began asking about the spirit who controlled this ouiji board. The board gave us a name and an occupation (zookeeper) and its favorite animal (giraffes). None of my friends had ever heard of this person. We looked it up. The person was real, dead, a former zookeeper, and when we clicked on images… Its a mysterious piece of cardboard I will never understand yet I still obsess over finding an answer

  18. alphalpha August 31, 2014 at 9:16 am - Reply

    I found this at this store goodwill I bought it for 10 bucks got home I started playing it I was 20 I asked for the lottery numbers next day I went to the store and I purchased a lottery ticket one week later I went to check out the number of my lottery ticket and couldn’t believed it I won 150,000 dollars I feel so good my life is amazing I highly recommended

  19. Kadie September 4, 2014 at 8:59 pm - Reply

    This is so dumb.

  20. Jason September 18, 2014 at 10:37 am - Reply

    Everyone claiming to have had strange experiences with the board can barely type a coherent sentence. Coincidence?
    Why not film yourselves, then post to youtube. Think of the revolution for mankind if you can PROVE these things exist.

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